Amazon’s Al Michaels caught a lot of heat regarding his lack of enthusiasm during last year’s NFL season.

It was only a matter of time before Michaels started to hear the criticism from those online. Of course, there have been plenty of those who have never been a fan of Michaels’ antics and such for years, but a lot of those points of criticism didn’t start to trickle down to Michaels in droves until he kicked off Prime Video’s first full season of Thursday Night Football last year alongside Kirk Herbstreit.

Michaels’s job was tough at times due to a fairly uninteresting slate of NFL games that the announcer compared to selling a “used car.” By all accounts, he did the best he could with what he had to work with.

Recently, Michaels took some time to speak with Richard Deitsch of The Athletic and discussed the criticism that he received, along with Tony Romo, who was the subject of even harsher condemnation from viewers. The invention of social media has allowed for criticism to seep in and whether you are Vin Scully, Michaels or Romo, nobody is immune, deserving or not.

“We live in a world that didn’t exist 20 or 25 years ago. And you’re right, Richard, everybody gets into the crosshairs at some point,” Michaels said during a recent appearance on the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast. “Tony Romo was the flavor of the month when he came in. We’re all gonna get it. We all get it from time to time.”

“The flavor of the month,” Romo, traded in his early prognostication skills for overexuberancestrange noises, and weird phrasing. After receiving a ton of criticism from fans throughout the 2022 NFL season, last year also saw reports that CBS “tried an intervention” with Romo last offseason. And while the network referred to that as a “mischaracterization,” they didn’t dispute their executives’ visits with Romo.

Michaels seemingly offered some insight into how he goes about looking at criticism that both he, Romo and several others have received.

“Now when you say ‘get it,’ does this mean that in a country of 330 million people, if 10 people rip you or whatever adjective the internet wants to use…I mean, I laugh at that because you and I both know, that if a million people ripped you, 329 million people are not ripping,” Michaels continued. “Sure, everybody wants to be loved, but I think I would not have lasted this long, where I not doing it the right way for the vast majority of people who watch football.”

“One of the worst things anyone in the public eye can do is type in their name in Google and see what people are saying about them. Because you’ll get a lot of compliments and a lot of slings and arrows. You just have to go, ‘Hey, look, man, I’m doing this job. I sort of know how to do it.'”

“I think when people felt that maybe I wasn’t as engaged as they wanted to…A lot of the calls of the games now are on YouTube after the game. ‘And let’s hear the local announcer in Manhattan, Kansas, scream his guts out as Kansas State scores to win the game.’ Right? And that goes as they say, ‘viral.'”

“I’ve never been that way. I’m not gonna scream my guts out. I’ve had some pretty good calls at the end of games, and they are shorter rather than longer, and I’m not screaming my guts out. But we live in a society where there are a number of people who say, ‘Hey, that’s what I want to hear. I want to hear the announcer go crazy.'”

Michaels said that’s not him, nor is it, Joe Buck nor Jim Nantz.

“There’s a reason the three of us have been doing what we’re doing for so long,” he said.

[Sports Media with Richard Deitsch]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.